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Thread: Building the perfect system...

  1. #1

    Default Building the perfect system...

    Hi Everyone!

    I've been doing some research on the Internet in regards to video editing systems, and I found this forum...seems to be full of experts, so I thought I'd ask you all a question or two! I'm from Oz, so please excuse the use of the $ sign!

    Basically, my brother wants to do video editing. He's always playing around, making movies and the like, and so far he's just been using whatever he can get his hands on. If he can use someones Mac for the day, he jump on that, someone's got a P4 handy, he'll give that ago...no computers around, he'll just dub using two VHS machines.

    He's no computer expert, but he's willing to learn. I know a bit about computers; very little about video editing systems, but I said I'd do some research for him...hence I'm here! I've played around a bit with Premiere (got a copy of 6.0 here), stuffed around on some full-on AVID systems, and a few other bits and pieces.

    Basically, he wants to buy a video editing system. We've got so many spare software license' laying around the house for PC's...so he wants a PC solution - not a Mac. (Question: what Windows OS do you suggest he uses? I'm thinking 2000 Pro?)

    The camera he's using primarily at the moment is far from pro, but is nice all the same: Sony TRV19E. S-Video, RCA , DV and USB out.

    He'll also want to hook up a VHS/S-VHS machine at some stage (S-Video or RCA?), and maybe even Beta equipment (I work for a Live Entertainment Production company, so I have access to Beta-players, Betacam's, etc.).

    So really, it's just a mater of what computer to buy.

    Money is *always* a problem...obviously the cheaper the, well, cheaper...

    I'm thinking about maybe a Dual P3, or Dual Xeon?

    Memory? Thinking "1 GB Dual Channel ECC Registered DIMMS" ($$$)

    Hard drives? Thinking a small IDE one for the OS, software, etc. (5GB, if you can still get them that small) and a few SCSI one's for the footage. How big will these HDD's need to be? Really, you want to work with the best quality you can get out of the little Sony cam...so you'll be using the DV connection, but what format, etc.?

    No point getting a CD-ROM drive, might as well just get a Multiformat DVD burner.

    No point getting a floppy disk these days as most things boot straight from the CD-ROM.

    Graphics card? Thinking "128MB MATROX Parhelia-512GPU, 128 MB DDR, 3x RGB Out, 2x DVI Out, TV Out."

    Sound card? Thinking "Creative Audigy 2 player with IEEE 1394 Firewire". Good sound is probably just as import as good picture - when it sounds, pardon the language, shit, well that's really no good. You want it to sound "normal" - ie. the audience don't even notice it - it's "fine"!

    Then of course a mouse, keyboard and (two?) monitors/PC screens. What kind of monitors/PC screens do you think he'll need? Does it "really" matter? The plan is to connect up an 'external' Broadcast Quality monitor (can you just use a TV?!?), to make sure the colours are all good once exported anyway. (Can this be done in Premiere? - ie. real time monitoring on an 'external' display). I'm thinking it's better to spend the $$$ on the external monitor, rather than the PC screens.

    Video editing card/capture card. No idea here. I'm thinking you just need a firewire card, and to hook up the VHS, you just go through the camera (ie. S-Video out of the VHS into the camera, DV out of the camera into the PC). Your thoughts?

    Software. I'm thinking just stick with Premiere for now, seeing as we have a copy of it. For what he wants to do, it seems fine to me.

    Well, that's about it. As you can probably tell by the lingo I'm using, I don't *really* know that much about video editing - but like I said, it's for my brother, so I don't really need to...

    I'm sure there's things I've forgotten as well...so if you think there's something I should have asked...just add it to the trend...

    Thanks a lot to anyone who's taken the time to read all this, and a huge, *huge* thanks to anyone who takes the time to reply to it!

    Hope all is well in the always sunny UK!

    ~ Chris!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default

    Lots of points. For what it is worth,

    (Question: what Windows OS do you suggest he uses? I'm thinking 2000 Pro?)
    You shouldn't go wrong with this. personally I would double check with the software vendors that their applications are compatible with whatever software you choose.

    I'm thinking about maybe a Dual P3, or Dual Xeon?
    Dual P4 would be OK (P3 getting old etc). Again the important thing is to make sure that your software will take advantage of the dual processors and multi threading.

    Memory? Thinking "1 GB Dual Channel ECC Registered DIMMS" ($$$)
    Spot on. More memory the better. Just double check what your mother board can handle in terms of memory quantity and specification.

    Hard drives? Thinking a small IDE one for the OS, software, etc. (5GB, if you can still get them that small) and a few SCSI one's for the footage. How big will these HDD's need to be? Really, you want to work with the best quality you can get out of the little Sony cam...so you'll be using the DV connection, but what format, etc.?
    I'd go a bit bigger for the boot drive (40Gb is quite common these days). As you say I'd be surprised if you could get a 5Gb drive now. As for the video drive (you are quite right to have a dedicated video drive). Go as big as you can afford. Make sure that the speed is 7200. My own preference would be for a firewire connection to the hard drive (although some have reported configuration difficulties with this).

    No point getting a CD-ROM drive, might as well just get a Multiformat DVD burner.

    No point getting a floppy disk these days as most things boot straight from the CD-ROM.
    Spot on with the Multi Format DVD burner. I am old fashioned and still like a floppy drive (but I am old fashioned).

    Graphics card? Thinking "128MB MATROX Parhelia-512GPU, 128 MB DDR, 3x RGB Out, 2x DVI Out, TV Out."

    Sound card? Thinking "Creative Audigy 2 player with IEEE 1394 Firewire". Good sound is probably just as import as good picture - when it sounds, pardon the language, shit, well that's really no good. You want it to sound "normal" - ie. the audience don't even notice it - it's "fine"!
    No problems with the graphics card. I don't know this particular sound card. But I do know that Creative Audigy kit gets good write ups. You are quite right about the sound, its something that many amateurs underplay. Having said that if you are capturing your sound via firewire then the sound card desnt really come into it (other than of course for playback on your PC. If your sound output is to other devices than you are spot on with the sound card.

    Then of course a mouse, keyboard and (two?) monitors/PC screens. What kind of monitors/PC screens do you think he'll need? Does it "really" matter? The plan is to connect up an 'external' Broadcast Quality monitor (can you just use a TV?!?), to make sure the colours are all good once exported anyway. (Can this be done in Premiere? - ie. real time monitoring on an 'external' display). I'm thinking it's better to spend the $$$ on the external monitor, rather than the PC screens.
    The monitor matters insofar as most video editing has to be doen in a fairly high resolution. So get a monitor that is clearly visible and comfortable (at least 17" viewing). I agree with you on the external monitor bit. It is more important to verify final output and colour (If you can afford it of course).

    Video editing card/capture card. No idea here. I'm thinking you just need a firewire card, and to hook up the VHS, you just go through the camera (ie. S-Video out of the VHS into the camera, DV out of the camera into the PC). Your thoughts?
    Firewire is fine. In the case of VHS you could, of course, simply transfer the VHS to the TRV19 using the latter's AV-IN capability and thereafter via Firewire to the PC.

    Software. I'm thinking just stick with Premiere for now, seeing as we have a copy of it. For what he wants to do, it seems fine to me.
    Yup if you have it stick with it. Excellent software with plenty of support, including this forum. You may want to upgrade it in the future though.

    Good luck with your purchase.

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